“WE NEED A SHIFT OF OUR VALUES WITHIN SPECIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION AND ANIMAL PROTECTION EFFORTS”
Every year the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) publishes a list, the so called RED LIST, of the most recent status of the world’s animal species and the level of their endangerment. The list is long. The list gets longer. And the list will get much longer still, because the currently practiced concepts and policies towards species conservation are antiquated. They are based on the principle that strict measures to protect species are employed once the species reaches high risk categories of endangerment and extinction. The monetary benefit for Homo sapiens has become the driving maxim for our activities when it comes to the question of species “conservation”, too. With no doubt this approach will fail.
It will only be possible to protect species once the individual is moved to the center of our approach when defining or judging our activities. Such a new approach will respect the welfare of the individual animal, recognize the social complexity of groups within the animal kingdom based on the latest scientific knowledge, as well as putting efforts towards habitat conservation into a different, more holistic, perspective.
The question is not whether we can prevent a species from extinction. The question is how we define our activities and relationship towards wildlife. It is the individual that suffers not the species. It is time to challenge the concept of “monetary surplus” when the price to be paid is just too high.
There is an urgent need to shift our values, to change some paradigms of activity. We don’t need to reinvent new values. We needto make those that respect animals and the environment the driving principles by our societies. Such values need to become recognized within national and international legislative norms, political concepts, as well as production systems and consumer behaviors.